Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Have No Other Moments

"Don't move. Just die over and over. Don't anticipate. Nothing can save you now, because this is your last moment. Not even enlightenment will help you now, because you have no other moments. With no future, be true to yourself—and don't move."

—Shunryu Suzuki Roshi




I have the good fortune to know many of Suzuki Roshi's students. Even more auspiciously, my first meditation teacher was Kobun Chino Otogawa, Suzuki Roshi's protegé, brought from Japan to further the transmission of Soto Zen Buddhism to California. Kobun helped get Tassajara going and he ran Haiku Zendo in Los Altos in the seventies. That's when he was my teacher. I sat many many many hours with Kobun. My gratitude is boundless, infinite really.

Suzuki's advice was given to Zen students practicing meditation. The advice is perfect off the cushion if you simply remove the two mentions of "don't move."

13 comments:

steven said...

hi dan! i can take this in and allow it time to roll around. my work is to allow it to become a frame of reference and not simply an idea. steven

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Thank you Dan. That's it! Just die over and over and stop resisting the next moment because you might die into it too.... (I'm talking to myself --- I actually first typed 'Im talking to my elf' - him too!)

Jenny Stevning said...

Ahhh...to die over and over...dying unto each breath.
"With no future, be true to yourself—and don't move.".....that is just what I needed to hear.

Anonymous said...

I got this message from my "google search" for Kobun. He was a teacher of mine also. Everything is ending wheather we are aware or not. I like your Nisargadatta quote also...
Thanks,
Sokuzan Bob Brown
SokukoJi Buddhist Community
Battle Creek, MI

The Pollinatrix said...

I just wanted to let you know I shared this powerful quote over at Diamonds in the Sky with Lucy, because it so related to her topic today.

Reya Mellicker said...

It is definitely liberating to just give it up sometimes, to put the burdens down and surrender. Thanks for the reminder!

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Steven. To "Keep Death upon your shoulder" is such a great practice. Really. It reminds you to savor each moment each interaction as though it will be your very last one. Life sweetens up dramatically. But you, my poet friend, already know that pretty deeply already.

The Pollinatrix said...

Death and birth seem interchangeable in that context. Let every moment be your very first. Be born, over and over. Interesting.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Bonnie. Yes. Yes. The second you're really ready to die, you're able to LIVE.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Jenny. Wonderful. If these words help you make more of your most remarkable art, then whatever small effort I made to share them here at Mindful Heart was more than worth it.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Bob. I think you stopped by here on Mindful Heart a year or so ago. Wasn't Kobun a wonderful teacher? I loved the man, more and more each year. Is it not miraculous that even years after someone has died that their light can shine even more brilliantly?

Dan Gurney said...

Polly, thank you for sharing it in the comment section in Lucy's blog. I went over there and was impressed. She took my breath away.

And yes, in your second comment about birth and death. They relate much as do inhaling and exhaling. Two facets of one gem.

Dan Gurney said...

Reya, yes: Put down the burden and pick up the joy.